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'No lead' in 3rd string QB battle, but Phillip Sims doing 'really good job'

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Three quarterbacks share reps in their battle to be QB3.

Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Isn't it something? Back in 2011 and 2012, we were discussing daily the battle for starting quarterback. Now, with Carson Palmer firmly holding the starting job and Drew Stanton holding down the backup spot, we get to debate the third string battle.

And a battle there seems to be. Arizona has three quarterbacks -- Logan Thomas, Chandler Harnish and Phillip Sims trying to be that third guy.

As of right now, there is no one in the lead of that battle as mini-camp begins this week, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

The team is splitting up reps in practice. On Thursday when the media was there, it was the undrafted rookie Sims who took the reps while Harnnish and Thomas watched. When Arians was asked if he had taken a step forward at all, Arians said, "he's done a really good job since he's been here," but emphasized the work "will just keep going back and forth."

In essence, Thomas' not getting reps on Thursday isn't anything to read into, especially since "Logan had a ton of them (Wednesday)."

The fact the Cardinals are splitting reps fort the third guy between three players is something to read into, though. While when Harnish was signed and Sims was added, it looked more like it was about Carson Palmer being brought back slowly, it seems to be legitimately about competition.

Of course you want the young QB you drafted to welcome competition, but the fact the Cardinals feel they need to bring more than one guy in to compete with him means it is going a little beyond that.

Thomas isn't worried, as Darren Urban wrote for the team official website. "Coach has his plan and I'm sticking to his plan," Thomas said. "Whatever he wants, I'll do." He would like things to fall into place, but he is willing to keep working.

The story is well known. Thomas was hand-picked by Arians as a guy to draft -- not as a sure thing, but as a guy Arians and general manager Steve Keim felt might become a franchise QB. However, when both Palmer and Stanton went down, Arians put Thomas in the drivers seat and was going to start late in the season, only to then yank him after one practice and give Ryan Lindley the playing time instead.

So you have the hand-picked guy the coach drafted. You have Harnish, who was on the the Colts when Arians was offensive coordinator and interim head coach. Then you have the undrafted Sims who has been intriguing. It would seem like a longshot for him to win the third spot, but stranger things have happened.

This week there will be more work in mini-camp and then nothing until training camp. One guy probably will probably be released before training camp. If Palmer is going to get his full work, the team is likely not to keep five QBs.

But for now, there is nobody in the lead. While that is a little bit fun, the fact that Thomas isn't in the lead at least a little perhaps should be reason for concern.